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New Programs Aim To Make Newcomers Feel Comfortable

May 12, 2010

By Matt Hombach

Baltimore's Classic Five Golf Courses are stepping up their programming to attract and educate new players of all ages. 

While an introductory lesson can teach the basics of the swing and short game, the new Baltimore Golf Academy takes it a step further, offering instruction on how to make a tee time, check in at the course, and the basics of etiquette and pace of play.

"There are a lot of things about golf that can be intimidating to a newcomer to the game," said Jim Deck, head professional at Pine Ridge. "The academy gives adults the chance to learn with other adults who are new to golf in a non-threatening environment. 

"We have a tiered approach that starts with a brief introduction to the game, carries on with basic instruction and then we also get new players out on the course with mentors to actually play a few holes in the evening. We are really being aggressive this year in trying to attract new golfers. Our goal is to take people who are interested in learning the game and turning them into golfers."

The Baltimore Golf Academy offers a wide range of learning options of players at all levels. All equipment is provided for golfers' use during the clinics.

South River, Fox Hollow Offer New Facilities

Area golfers looking to sharpen their swings will have two new attractive destinations this summer.

Fox Hollow Golf Course (formerly Longview) in Timonium recently opened a new 60-station practice facility, the first phase of a $2.9 million renovation project at the course.

The redesigned and re-routed back nine will open in July, and a chipping and putting practice area will open in the fall. The new 300-yard driving range features lights, allowing for practice after dark, and offers a variety of state-of-the-art swing analysis and teaching equipment.

The Golf Club at South River has embarked on a major upgrade to its driving range, according to the Edgewater golf club's owner, the Brick Companies.

With construction expected to be finished by early summer, the $800,000 project calls for the construction of five target greens, a total re-grading of the range, creation of separate grass tee and turf tee areas, and overall landscape improvements to the range located adjacent to the 18th hole fairway.

"One of the first requests our members made was for improvements to the practice facility," said Mike Kriel, vice president at the Brick Companies. "And we're pleased to announce that they will soon have access to one of the finest practice ranges in the region when this project is complete."

The driving range upgrade at South River comes on the heels of a major renovation of the clubhouse which led to a national award when Golf Inc. magazine named it one of the nation's top remodel and renovation projects in the United States.

Issue 149: May 2010